Home to the Pearl District, Old Town/Chinatown and swaths of grittier, industrial properties, the River District Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. Projects focus on the area’s capacity for continued growth as a high-density, mixed-use urban neighborhood.

Contact: Sarah Harpole, (503)823-3337, email

TIF District Fast Facts

  • Created: June 1998
  • Total Acres: 314.8
  • Last date to issue long-term debt: June 2021

The River District Urban Renewal Area Plan focuses on the creation of a high density urban residential neighborhood with a mix of multi-family housing, major office facilities, regional attractions, retail businesses, parks and open space that balances new development with existing structures.


  • Generate new private investment and improve the tax base on vacant and underutilized land by developing a diverse and affordable inventory of new housing units, new commercial opportunities and open space
  • Foster a “24-hour,” self-sufficient city environment for residents, visitors, and workers
  • Promote linkages with adjacent neighborhoods and the Willamette River 

Public investment is focused on job creation and neighborhood district vitality. Expansion of the River District boundaries in 2009 included portions of Old Town/Chinatown to help meet community goals and objectives for the area.

Twenty years ago, what we know as the Pearl District was a derelict, underused railroad yard and warehousing area. Today, it’s an internationally recognized success story. Our work in the River District has included public investment in an array of neighborhood parks, new roads and parking facilities, affordable and market-rate housing and innovative projects that maintain the vibrancy of Portland’s downtown core. Much of the District’s 350 acres has been transformed into a high density urban neighborhood with a lively mix of residents and businesses, major office spaces, regional attractions, retail, parks and open spaces.

That transformation has also included redevelopment of the historic Meier & Frank department store in the retail core south of Burnside and supporting the important connection between the River District and downtown Portland.

Prosper Portland’s role was to put in place the appropriate infrastructure that would allow private development to go forward. Private sources have provided 90 percent of the funding for River District development. Since the inception of the district in FY 1999-2000, its assessed value has grown by $1.7 billion.

As Prosper Portland’s investment in the River District is coming to a close, key outstanding initiatives include: 

River District URA Boundaries Map

View large River District URA Boundaries Map